Bucket
Jasmine Johnson picks up litter March 10.

FORT BENNING, Ga. - They give hugs. They collect donations. They smile at people.

Those are some of the simple ideas behind being a bucket filler, said Linda Turner, the counselor at Loyd Elementary School and club facilitator for the Bucket Fillers.

Who:

The club, in its first year at Loyd, includes 18 children and a focus on helping out in the community. Club members help improve their school by planting flowers outside and picking up litter. During bimonthly meetings they talk about what it means to fill someone's bucket.

"A bucket filler is a person who makes people happy ... opening doors for them, making cards for them, collecting food for people need it," said 8-year-old Azrielle Kelly, a second-grader who joined the club in August.

What:

The concept originated with the book How Full is Your Bucket' The idea is that everyone has emotional and psychological "buckets" inside. People can either be bucket dippers - for example, by bullying - or bucket fillers.

The Bucket Fillers club was started to promote volunteerism and caring for others, Turner said.

How:

The group at Loyd, in its first year as a club, has cleaned tables at an Easter Seals fundraiser, made cards for World War II veterans, picked up trash with Help the Hooch, donated clothing for the poor and collected pop tops for the Ronald McDonald House, she said.

Their most recent activity was helping Katherine Walker, Green Week coordinator, sort books March 10 for the schoolwide book exchange. After that, they picked up litter on the lawn outside the school.

Why:

"I wanted to get involved because I like to help people," Azrielle said. "It makes me feel happy when I help people."

That's another lesson Turner said she tries to instill in the club members - the benefits of volunteering overflow to the volunteer.

"They find out they enjoy and get as much out of it as they give," she said.

"When you fill somebody else's bucket, yours gets fuller also."

Page last updated Thu March 18th, 2010 at 18:21